Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On my own Gluttony

I just ran out the back door to go grab a bite to eat. I brought my bag of trash from under my desk with me to drop it off in the dumpster on the way. Approaching the dumpster, I noticed two feet hanging over the edge, and as I lifted the back up to throw it in, I saw that a (probable) homeless man was digging through other bags of trash in there. I threw my bag in, and thinking that I didn't need someone rifling through our papers and other rubbish, I said, "Hey, could you please not go digging through our trash?"

The guy said "Sure, sorry", and I could hear him walking behind me as I left to go across the street to the new Mexican place for lunch. I thought to myself, "Maybe I should give him a dollar, in case he was just looking for food or something." I turned around, and saw that he had made his way in the other direction. I said fuck it, went into the Mexican place, ordered 2 shrimp tacos and a green tea, and gave the guy $10.

I though to myself "Ten bucks is a lot for 2 tacos and a drink...this would be like $5 in Mexico." But I ate it and came back to the office, where in my email inbox was this story in a newsletter I subscribe to:

"In a Sufi fable: A baker wanted to meet Uways, so Uways went to the bakery disguised as a beggar. He began to eat a bread roll; the baker beat him and threw him out into the street.

- Madman! – said a disciple arriving – don’t you see that you threw out the master you wanted to know?

Contrite, the baker asked what he could do for him to forgive him. Uways
asked him to invite him and his disciples to eat.

The baker took them to an excellent restaurant and ordered the most expensive dishes.

- That is how we distinguish the good man from the bad man – said Uways to the disciples,
in the middle of lunch. This man is capable of spending ten gold coins on a
banquet because I am famous, but he is incapable of giving a bread roll to feed
a hungry beggar."


This story really slapped me in the face, and made me realize that I have no valid excuse for not giving that guy the dollar in my pocket when I realised that it was the right thing to do. I have a lot of work to do on my personal behavior, and a long way to go until I can say that I am honestly doing right.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Damn Kids

Here's a funny spoof article on a condition so many suffer from..."Childhood". Just pray this never happens to you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Something borrowed, something blue...

My dad is getting married. People are asking me about it lately, specifically: When? Well, I don't know and more importantly, neither does he. What's kind of cool about this concept, as unconventional as it may be to some people, is that the date is really not all that important to he and his fiance. As a matter of fact, they are even talking about just sneaking out of town together some weekend and tying the knot. It seems like they don't really want to plan it too much. In fact, he has talked more about planning a reception party for their friends than the actual "wedding" itself. This will be a second marriage for both of them, and having some kind of big deal ceremony is far down the priority list for either party involved. It's made me think a little, and for that I thank them both.





Truth be told, it seems to me that we make a giant to-do about weddings and all of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with them. Every little girl dreams of The Day as the most important one of their life, and sadly, for many people it may be just that. After a few years of marriage, however, I have come to realize that the wedding is nothing but a distraction for so many people. The reality is that in a society where half of the people walking the aisle end up signing divorce papers somewhere down the road, all of the symbolism and tradition that we have piled up in the ceremony is really just becoming washed out and hard to stomach. I hate to sound too poopy-pants about the whole thing, because weddings really ARE cool, and I often get emotionally connected to each and every one...and then, of course, I party like it's 1999 at the reception...I'm getting off course though, that's a whole separate blog. Anyway, the point is that I like weddings, but I wonder how much they really mean to people when they take a good look at themselves. Does anyone really still believe in "Till death do us part?" I don't know.





Anyway, my dad's getting married, and I'm stoked for him and his fiance. They are obviously very happy to be together, and want to show each other and the rest of the world that they are committed to the institution and to each other. I really think that he has found someone special and I think that they both want to be old together. That's what I wanted when I married my wife, and it's still what I want. I want to die married to her, and I want every other awesome experience in between now and then. I guess I am normal and boring.





We had a beautiful ceremony, actually, and danced to "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison. That's where we ended up: the mystic. This magical place called the future that no one is capable of ever predicting. My particular mystic just happens to be filled with diapers and sleep deprivation, but it's also filled with amazing reality checks and people around me who still support my wife and I as we continue to do our dance.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Paulo Coelho said...

"All the world's roads lead to the heart of the Warrior;

he plunges unhesitatingly into the river of passion always

flowing through his life.



The warrior knows that he is free to choose his desires,

and he makes these decisions with courage, detachment

and - sometimes - with just a touch of madness.



He embraces his passions and enjoys them intensely. He

knows that there is no need to renounce the pleasures of

conquest; they are part of life and bring joy to all those

who participate in them.



But he never loses sight of things that last or of the strong

bonds forged over time.



A Warrior can distinguish between the transient and the

enduring."




Monday, February 19, 2007

Happyness


The best times I've had in my life have never been planned.
It's the element of surprising awesomeness and often, simplicity, that make these little moments so powerful. I may try to plan for a wonderful experience, and with enough luck create a truly kickass time, but rarely have any pre-planned manifestations of fun or happiness done anything but pale in comparison to the profound "holy shit, THIS is what life's all about" moments that sneak up on me when least expected.
Hanging out with my son seems to be conducive to a high percentage of "Holy Shit" moments...and at the very least, Good times.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Babymama turns 30

It was a struggle convincing Marissa that a night out for drinks and dinner would be better than staying home to watch Grey's Anatomy...even on her 30th birthday. I guess that's what having kids has done to our social drive. Thankfully, we have great relatives, including her mom and sister, both of whom were competing to babysit so that we could go out to dinner! I assured my birthday bride that she could watch the Tivo version of her show the next day, and get almost the same amount of drama and pleasure. She finally gave in.

Waiting for her to pick me up at my office, I snapped a cameraphone picture of the sunset sky from the front steps: This is the Levi Mansion, on Northwest corner of California Avenue and Sierra Street. It's right across the street from my office, which is on the Northeast corner of the same intersection. It's a historic neighborhood and has some great higher-end boutique dining and shopping establishments, as well as the coolest apartments in Reno (The California Avenue Apartments).

Anyway, she finally picked me up and we got the kidlets dropped off at Bobo and Papa's (Marissa's parents') house. Although Bobo technically won the argument with Keri (Marissa's sister) about who got to babysit, she made good by inviting Keri and her family over for dinner, meaning that they BOTH really got the privilege (?duty?) of watching our kids. It blows my mind to think that they seriously argued over this task...needless to say I am so very grateful to have people like this to lavish such extraordinary attention on my family. It's freakin' awesome. What's even more awesome is a night out with my wife.

We decided to first check out the Vintage Wine Shop on Lakeside Drive. The place has had some nice publicity in the local rags and has a unique approach to the wine-store tasting room schtick. They have these beautiful steely wine dispensers that hold about 8 bottles each. They use Nitrous to keep the pressure and freshness in each bottle, and they (for a nominal fee) can dispense one ounce tastes of each wine until the bottle is finally empty...up to about 5 months, according to our Sommelier, Michael. (Seen behind the bar in this picture). He brought out a little plate of cheeses, bread and grapes and set us to the task of tasting several wines available throughout the store.

The way it works is: you put a certain amount of money on a card, like an ATM card, and then insert the card into the machine that holds the bottle you want to taste. Then you push a button above the spout and *viola*, a shot of wine spurts into your glass. It's a great idea, and a good way to see what a $250 bottle of wine tastes like without buying it...I think my grandmother referred to this concept as "not buying the cow because you can get the milk for free" or something...of course, she wasn't talking about wine, and in this case, the taste of the good stuff is more like $6 or $7. Either way, we had a nice time, and Michael was cordial, knowledgeable, and even went above and beyond by surprising us both with a birthday taste of an awesome chocolate port and a sample of some delectable little confections. He was great, and we'll be back there to show the place off to our friends some time in the very near future.


Onward to the next place we had yet to try out: Ciao. It's a newer foo-foo pizza and wine type restaurant on South Virginia, behind Cantina Los Tres Hombres. The strip center has had some obvious renovations recently, and the exterior of the building looks fresh and nice. The aesthetics of the place were also right up my alley, having a very modern feel when we walked in. The staff was friendly, even if they didn't bring our drinks or bread until the food was actually on it's way. I had some kind of monster martini and a rack of lamb special, and the fare was just dynamite...the best part of the place, actually. I only wish I had paid attention to the price list before ordering my drink, because a $21 martini makes me think Vegas Club, not Reno Dinner.
Oh well, it was good. The space could probably use a little more demising with these cool beaded curtains to create a more intimate feel, but that's just my personal taste. Overall, I think the textiles and the mood that's created in Ciao were unique and progressive, and I'll probably go back. There's live music, it would appear, very often, and it makes for a pretty fun environment. If nothing else, I wouldn't mind just hanging out in the lounge area some time for drinks and app's.
Reno is a wonderful town to live in and it's nice that there are fun new places popping up all over. Being parents with a 3 year old and a 6 month old, we don't make it out as often as we used to, so when we finally do, it's like a whole new world for us. That's worth the price of admission.




Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine




Tomorrow is Valentine's Day...have a good one. If you are like me, the you might want to splurge for some custom-made sweets.


Subtle

I just deleted all of my old blog posts; my efforts at creative writing. I hated them. I, like so many others, don't like reading what I write...particularly if I re-read it over and over again. It's not so much that I pick out errors or problems, but rather that the whole thing in general is just kida stinky. Oh well. I'm not being paid to write.



I'm changing the nature of my blog into more of a random-posting space, like so many other normal people do. I think it will be more interesting. I'll still get around to posting my "true stories", although they will be censored and condensed. It'll just be better for everyone that way. I'll be going for more pictures and less words.



Here's a pretty picture of the fucking best shit on Earth: